• RRP: £7.99
  • You Save: £3.00 (38%)
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Kafka: A Very Short Intro... has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by SNaylerBooks
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Orders shipped daily from the UK. All international orders sent via airmail. Professional seller. Enquiries responded to daily.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Kafka: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 28 Oct 2004

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£4.99
£2.12 £1.10
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£4.99 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Kafka: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
  • +
  • The Complete Short Stories (Vintage Classics)
  • +
  • The Complete Novels Of Kafka
Total price: £27.46
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (28 Oct. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192804553
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192804556
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 1.3 x 10.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 410,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

About the Author

Ritchie Robertson is a Professor of German at Oxford University and a Fellow of St John's College. He has published books on Kafka, Heine, and Thomas Mann, as well as The Jewish Question in German Literature (OUP, 1999). He has translated several eighteenth- and nineteenth-century German authors into English for the Oxford World Classics and Penguin Classics series


Inside This Book

(Learn More)
First Sentence
The bare facts of Franz Kafka's life seem ordinary, even banal. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
8
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 9 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This little book makes it crystal clear as to why Kafka is generally considered to be the most important, or at least most iconic, writer of the twentieth century. Like Kafka, and like most of us, his "heroes" have to suffer the daily grind of typical white collar jobs, and are thrust into a state of false conscious. Robinson explains how Kafka explicates this false consciousness, and compares his thinking to that of other great writers like Nietzsche, Kirkegaard, Schopenhauer, Weber and Freud. He manages to show how Kafka goes further than these writers, in an intensely modern direction, that fully accepts the Death of God while remaining fully spiritual. The last chapter is especially good as it makes explicit the importance of Kafka's aphorisms. Unfortunately, in a truly Kafkaesque move, Penguin have allowed the collected aphorisms, that Robertson recommends, to go out of print. Fortunately you can get find the key aphorisms in the Blue Octavo Notebooks. Harold Bloom highlights Kafka in the context of Western literature, and discusses the Blue Octavo Notebooks, in The Western Canon.
3 Comments 8 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
The strength of this book is that it illuminates the key themes in Kafka's writing and avoids turning his works into crude allegories or 'codes' that are somehow in need of deciphering line-by-line. It is clear, extremely well-written and above all sane.

There seems to be an idea in circulation that Kafka was some kind of unhinged outsider who wrote as a form of personal therapy. This book comprehensively debunks this kind of myth. It shows how Kafka's ideas on authority, the family, marriage and work offer powerful insights into modern life, though conveyed through highly expressive artistic means rather than through tracts or essays. It shows how hard Kafka worked at his art, and how seriously he took his calling.

I have only one quibble, and that is that the chapter on 'institutions' opens by conflating institutions with organizations. Carl Menger (active in Kafka's time) pointed out that organic institutions can evolve without having a definite goal or objective. Modern social theorists and economists debate the role of institutions such as promise-keeping in society and in markets. It seems that Kafka was also much concerned in his work with social norms and how they constrain individual behaviour.
Comment 4 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Although a short introduction to any subject is understandably limited in scope, this book does a fantastic job of introducing Kafka in a way which is as useful to those familiar with his work as it is to new readers. I study Kafka as part of my degree, and this book was initially recommended to me to buy for a friend who had just started reading Kafka and was having some difficulties - not only did it help him, but I was impressed with the way it tackles various aspects of Kafka's biography, inspiration and writing in a way which is both engaging and extremely clear to follow when faced with such challenging novels.
The book is split into chapters by theme - Kafka's life, ways in which critics have thought about his work in light of Freudian ideas, and themes such as 'bodies' and 'institutions' which feature most often in his works. As such it is far more engaging than some other books which focus too heavily on the biographical aspect. Each chapter is short enough to be read on a relatively short train journey, but intellectually stimulating enough to leave the reader with questions which persist after the chapter is finished.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of the book is that it does not try to teach you the 'meaning' of the novels, which is a flawed business where Kafka is concerned and which would be impossible in such a short space of time, but rather how to read them in a way that allows you to draw your own conclusions. To do this, the book incorporates several short examples of Kafka's writing followed by an analysis which allows you to see how it might be possible to read a seemingly impenetrable text - one of the strengths of this book. The further reading list is another wonderful inclusion.
Comment 3 of 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a pupil in the Norwegian school system, my level of competence when it came to Kafka was around zero. However, I had found this particular author interesting, and therefore, I wanted to do an in-depth project on some of his workings - particularly "Der Prozess"/"The Trial". In doing so, this small book proved to be an immense help to me.

Since Kafka is - well, not the easiest author to understand - I found this summing-up of some of the main interpretations very useful. Both concise, to-the-point as well as easy-to-understand, this work of Ritchie Robertson was absolutely vital to me when writing the assignment. I especially liked some of the more thourogh parts concerning bodies and institutions in Kafka's works.

Hilsener fra Norge!
Greetings from Norway!
Comment 4 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I bought this book in order to gain a quick insight into the works and workings of one of the most enigmatic authors in German literature.
I was under immense time pressure to learn about Kafka before a forthcoming university interview so this book was ideal as it wasted no time and got straight into analysing and evaluating his stories as well as giving a brief historical background to aid understanding of the sometimes challenging texts.
Kafka has become one of my favourite authors and even though i have now read nearly all of the published works of Kafka, i still reference this great little book all the time.
It and the others in the series are fantastic little books which are very good value and excellent resources!!!
Comment 11 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse


Feedback